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Lakeside School

Seattle, WA – Lakeside School is an independent school serving 800 students in grades 5 through 12.  Derrek Falor, the Girls Soccer Program Head, previously worked with The Art of Learning Project in his position as the women’s soccer coach at Cleveland State University in Ohio.
Coach Falor gave his Varsity Soccer team at Lakeside an assignment to read The Art of Learning over the summer and explore the correlation between Josh’s experiences with chess and Thai Chi and their own experiences with soccer.  This assignment provided his athletes with the opportunity to develop an understanding of their relationship to the learning principles and gave Coach Falor a window into their own perceptions of their strengths and challenges on the soccer field.  He has shared a collection of student responses to chapters 4-6, chapters 7-8, and chapters 9-11 on our Resources for Educators page.
In response to the challenges that arose on the playing field as well as the ideas that came up in the student responses, Coach Falor developed a season-long, holistic program focused on examining how the players handled moments of transition throughout their days and developing strategies for working on Stress and Recovery in all aspects of their academic and athletic lives.  In future seasons he plans to work on The Power of Presence and The Downward Spiral to help his athletes remain in the moment rather than focusing on what just happened or what will happen next.  He is also hoping to expand the program to include Program Heads from a range of athletic departments in the school so that the students will encounter these learning principles across the various sports they play throughout the year.

Hamilton Middle School

HAMILTON, MI. Ted Malefyt, read about Josh Waitzkin and The Art of Learning in an article that appeared in the NSCAA Soccer Journal, and was inspired to study its principles.  This Girls’ Varsity Soccer Coach and science teacher is now sharing The Art of Learning with fellow teachers, coaches and administrators who will convey the insights they’ve garnered to students to help them pave an individual path to success in the classroom and on the playing field.

North Atlanta Soccer Association

WOODSTOCK, GA. This soccer club shares The Art of Learning perspective that “what happens along the journey is more important than medals or titles” and aims to provide valuable life experiences for the players while striving to improve their skills. Eric Ritter, the Director of Coaching of the girls’ program for 13-19-year-olds, is using The Art of Learning to educate the 14 members of his coaching staff about the mental side of the game. He is working with the book’s principles to integrate a reflection piece into the coaching lesson plan. Eric intends to start with the girls’ program, then roll out core instruction for the boys’ and recreational staff of this 4,000-member organization.

Mendham High School IB Program

MENDHAM, NJ. Dr. Kathy Kremins merged The Art of Learning with Mendham High’s International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge course.

Seventy students participated in this pilot program. Many passionately discussed The Art of Learning in an online forum and wrote inspiring essays about the material. At the end of the program, the JW Foundation had the honor of meeting with the class. Josh spoke to the students and then held a more intimate discussion with a smaller group. This collaboration touched on everything from what it means to be a learner in life to a vision for the future of education.

Currently, we are continuing our work with the senior Theory of Knowledge class. In addition, both the Mendham boys’ soccer team and girls’ basketball team are using The Art of Learning thanks to the inspiring work of Dr. Kathy Kremins and Tim Rymer.

The success of the Mendham High program combined with our participation in the International Baccalaureate Conference resulted in the integration of The Art of Learning into IB Theory of Knowledge classes in a number of other schools. There is vast potential for the spread of the principles set forth in the book as they are a perfect match for the mission of the IB program, which is held in 2,732 schools in 138 countries.

Dr. Kremins is taking steps to launch a four-way international program for teaching The Art of Learning—participants include Mendham High and high schools in Newark, N.J., Mexico, and China that will share a wikispace and work with a unit plan she is developing based on the IB Middle Years Program. Dr. Kremins will be creating a blog for The Art of Learning Project website that will document her and the students’ ongoing experiences working with the principles and share ideas about how others can institute effective teaching strategies, domestically and abroad. Wiki-based programs have the potential to be adopted by inner city schools.

National Soccer Coaches Association of America

KANSAS CITY, KS. The NSCAA is the largest coaches’ organization in the United States with more than 26,000 members who coach both genders at all levels of the sport. The Art of Learning was reviewed in the fall issue of Soccer Journal, the official publication of the NSCAA, which is sent to their entire member base. The article mentioned the URL of our site, enabling readers to order copies of the book.

Bud Lewis, a men’s soccer coach and a director of wellness programs at Wilmington College in Ohio, read about the book in NSCAA Soccer Journal and is now studying The Art of Learning with the intention of using its concepts to further teaching and training skills for on and off the field player development. Eric Ritter, Director of Girl’s Coaching at the North Atlanta Soccer Association (a 4,000-member organization of three- to 19-year-old players), read about the book in Soccer Journal and is now using it to expand his girls coaching staff’s understanding of the mental process as it relates to the sport. Over a year’s time, Ritter intends to extend the program to the boys coaching staff and to the recreational staff.

Agoura High School IB Program

AGOURA HILLS, CA. Andrew Staiano is using The Art of Learning as a teaching tool in his Theory of Knowledge class and sharing it with the Agoura High School soccer team. Andrew says: “I would like to use these books with my soccer players in order to help explain the art of the endgame, the concepts of numbers to leave numbers, and entering the soft zone to help them not only become better players but also to make that ‘journey back to childhood’ where the love of the game is first and foremost.”